Sep 21, 2016

Remember that one time I made a whole line of La Coix cocktail videos??  Well, if you’re new here, I did and they were recently featured on the super fabulous blog BonBon Break!

La Croix Cocktail Recipes

Check it out!  And thanks to BonBon Break for the share!

Aug 04, 2016

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I am on a tequila kick this summer.  I blame having a newborn.  My motto for this new little baby is: work smarter, not harder.  So far, so good, as the babe is HUGE and sleepy and sweet.


But, that doesn’t mean I’m not exhausted and thirsty.  Tequila sounds like the only remedy.  Amitrite?!?

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So I created this super, flippin’ delicious cocktail with ripe peaches, tasty tequila, and some fresh mint.  Absolutely perfect for summertime patio sitting.


And I promise you, the simple syrup is CAKE to make.  Don’t let that scare you from not making this hot little number.

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Peach Mint Margarita


2 oz Peach Simple Syrup (recipe below)

2 oz  silver tequila

1.5 oz Cointreau

1-2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice

3-4 fresh mint leaves


kosher salt for rimming the glass

lime wedge for garnish


Rim glass with lime wedge and dip rim of glass into kosher salt and fill with ice.  Then, add 2 ounces of Peach Simple Syrup and silver tequila to glass.  Add 1.5 ounces of Cointreau and 1-2 ounces of lime juice (I like mine more sour so I do the 2 ounces).  Grab the mint leaves, give them a slap to activate the oils in the leaves, add them to the glass and stir until well mixed.  Add lime wedge for garnish and enjoy.  Makes 1 margarita.

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Peach Simple Syrup

1 cup of water

1 cup of sugar

1 ripe peach, cut into chunks

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Add water, sugar and peach chunks to a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Turn heat down to a simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and strain the syrup from the peach chunks in a glass container.  Let cool completely and store, covered, in the refrigerator.



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Jul 09, 2016



It’s summer time and I’m exhausted.  Black coffee is still a staple in the morning, but when afternoon comes around and I need a little pick me up, I have been making iced coffee to enjoy.  I HATE!!! the oil-based creamers out there so sweetened condensed milk is my favorite addition to cold coffee, Vietnamese-style.  Yes, you can just add the canned stuff, and it is tasty, but I wanted more.  More flavor, more depth.


I have seen lavender latte recipes floating around on the internet, but I wasn’t loving the idea of making a syrup to add to my coffee but I was loving the condensed milk, so I came up with a way to make lavender infused sweetened condensed milk.  It was pretty simple, but you need to have an hour to consistently stir the milk mixture to make this.  But let me tell you, IT IS WORTH IT.   The sweet lavender milk is so good, I was tempted to drink all of the milk with a straw once it had cooled.  It is SO GOOD!!


Want to make your own?  Here is what you need and how I did it:

1.5 cups of milk, whole or 2%

1/2 cup of sugar

2 tbsp of dried lavender

1/4 tsp of vanilla extract (optional)

First you need to infuse the milk with the lavender.  It’s really easy, you just need to make sure you don’t over heat the milk to prevent curdling.  Yuck.



To infuse the milk, combine the milk and the lavender in a saucepan and bring the milk to a simmer.  As soon as bubbles start to form, turn off the heat and let it sit for 20 minutes.  Then, strain out the lavender and return the milk to the saucepan.


Then I followed this awesome recipe from the Food 52 blog, but instead of it taking 2 hours, my milk reduced in an hour, which was nice because devoting 2 hours to stirring did not sound fun.  Again, you need to watch the heat on this to prevent curdling.  Double yuck.

This reduced down to about 2/3 cups of sweetened condensed milk and I split my milk into 2 small jars to try one with vanilla added and one without.  I liked both versions so I can’t say which tastes better as I really liked them both.  So if you like vanilla, I say add it, and if not, leave it out, it still tastes amazing!lavlatte_0009

Once your infused milk has cooled, it’s time to make your coffee!  Pour it into a glass, add ice cubes and then add 2-3 (or 4 or 5) tablespoons of the milk and stir to combine.


Pop in a straw and POOF!  Your iced coffee dreams have come true!

The lavender pairs so well with the cold coffee and the milk, it is absolute coffee perfection!  I will be drinking these all summer long and think you should too!





Jun 22, 2016


I’m back, you guys!



And guess what?  So is Ecto Cooler!

Yay times a million!!!!!


Remember that super-duper, tasty, bright green “juice” from the 80’s?  It’s back in stores along with the upcoming release of the new Ghostbusters movie this summer.  And while I am down with the all-chick cast, I am 100% in love with the fact that Ecto is back AND it tastes so familiar and delicious, just like back in the day of crimped hair and pinned pants.


So, to get back in the swing of things, I made a fun little video for the cocktail and would love you forever if you watched it.  Double bonus points if you actually make it and share it with your friends.


Making this recipe couldn’t be simpler.  Here is the breakdown of the recipe to save for later:


Pineapple Ecto Punch

makes 1 cocktail


4 oz Hi-C Ecto Cooler

3 oz pineapple juice

2 oz St. Germain

3-4 leaves of fresh mint


Add all ingredients to a glass full of ice, stir, and enjoy ALL SUMMER LONG before the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man comes to smash up your town.






Mar 02, 2016


This morning I was on the Dave Ryan in the Morning Show as their Almost Co-Host of the Day.  Dave, Falen, & Steve were super duper nice and to make sure that we would be BFF’s, I brought along some Grapefruitcello, because you can never go wrong with morning vodka.  Amirite?!?



We talked about some weird jobs I’ve had, my run-in with the Backstreet Boys back in the day, and how you never read the internet comments about yourself because people can be jackasses sometimes.


I included the audio clip above, if you missed it or want to relive all of the humor, crazy stories, or the insults that make morning radio sparkle.


Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 10.47.38 AMPhoto Cred: KDWB

Feb 15, 2016



I’m currently working with a group of ladies who all came up with recipes inspired by Oscar nominated movies in anticipation for the 2016 Oscars.  You can make these recipes for an Oscar party that your hosting or attending or just if you are looking for some new recipes to add to your food and drink repertoire.


The movie I was using for inspiration was Mad Max: Fury Road.  The trailer reminded me a bit of one of my favorite movies ever, Tank Girl.  What can I say??  I have an affinity for chicks with shaved heads who get crazy and blow shit up in deserts.

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Unfortunately for the super hot Charlize Theron and her rescue wives, this movie just wasn’t as appealing as I thought it would be, but I don’t think I was the target market of this movie.  Maybe it’s because I’m older now and the thought of all that sand getting in my mouth and hair really did not sit well.  How much dirt, grime and soot did they actually eat by just breathing?  Blech.  With all of the dust and explosions, all I wanted to do after the movie was brush my teeth and take a shower.  Visually, the movie was shot really well and I loved the artistic side of it from a photographer point of view.


My recipe is a palate cleanser of sorts, because gritty sand in my mouth makes me gag.  My most favorite flavor to get a yucky taste out of my mouth is citrus, more specifically, I have been OBSESSED with ruby red grapefruit for the past few months.  I am a HUGE fan of making liqueur at home and have a soft spot in my heart for all types of homemade ‘cellos.


Typically, limoncello is an after dinner drink in Italy, and my Ruby Red Grapefruitcello is perfect liqueur to sip after spending the day trying to blow up crusty, filthy warlords with creepy skeleton denture masks in the wasteland.










Ruby Red Grapefruitcello

2 1/2 cups high quality vodka (this time I used Prairie Organic Vodka)
4 large ruby red grapefruits peeled, then juiced
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

optional: add 1/2 of a cut and scraped vanilla bean to the grapefruit peel/vodka mixture.  YUM.

Make sure all of the grapefruits are scrubbed under hot water and soap with a brush.  Peel grapefruits with peeler carefully.  Try to only peel off the skin without removing the white pith underneath.  It is very bitter and will make the liqueur taste bitter as well.  Put peels in large glass container with the vodka.  Set aside.
Juice the grapefruits.  You will get around 2 cups of juice.
Next, make the simple syrup.  Add 1 cup of water, 1.5 cup of sugar, and the squeezed grapefruit juice to a medium saucepan.  Place over a high heat and bring to a gentle boil, stirring once in a while for 4 minutes.  Let syrup cool to room temperature and then add to the vodka/grapefruit peel mixture.
Let mixture sit for AT LEAST 72 hours in a cool, dark place, I used the refrigerator.  When you are ready to serve, strain out the peels and store in the fridge or freezer.  (I like pulp so I used a wider colander so the pulp could make it through, but if you don’t like pulp, strain through a finer sieve.)  Serve over ice, with soda or champagne.  Makes around 4 cups.
This nummy, nummy, nummy ‘cello will knock any dirt and grime out of your mouth.  Yay!
Be sure to check out the other recipes that were created by the other gals that were inspired by some of the top movies of 2015:
Jan 05, 2016

Can you believe I have been appearing on Twin Cities Live for a year now?  Craziness, I tell you!


I reprised my role as a “lifestyle expert” today as I mixed up some delicious chocolatey goodness.  And for you non-chocolate lovers, a flavorful vanilla drink.  And if you can’t be pleased with “hot” or vanilla, I made a super amazing Pretzel and Salted Caramel Frozen Hot Chocolate.  YES.  (There happens to be a secret announcement in this appearance, so watch it or be out of the loop!)

Mint Cookies and Cream Cocoa
makes 2 servings

recipe inspiration via

2 cups of milk, scalded

5 fresh mint leaves

3.5 oz of milk chocolate, chopped

5 Oreo cookies (filing removed), crushed

whipped cream, optional
Add milk to saucepan and heat over medium low heat.  You do not want to let the milk boil, you want it warmed to just below boiling, or “scald” it.  Take milk off heat, add the mint leaves and let sit for 10 minutes.  Strain the leaves out of the milk.  Return milk to saucepan and place over heat, adding the chocolate.  Whisk until chocolate is dissolved.  Pour milk into mugs and add some crushed Oreo cookies to the milk.  Garnish with whipped cream and crushed Oreo.  Serve immediately.

Hot Vanilla

makes 4 servings

recipe inspiration via

4 cups of milk

1 cinnamon stick

1 1/2 tbsp sugar (add another 1 1/2 tbsp of sugar if you like sweeter milk)

1 tbsp vanilla, or 1 inch of vanilla bean, sliced and scraped

pinch of salt
pinch of nutmeg
whipped cream, optional


Add all ingredients to a crock pot.  Stir until sugar is dissolved.  Set crock pot to “low” and heat for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Serve in mugs and garnish with whipped cream and ground cinnamon.

Pretzel & Salted Caramel Frozen Hot Chocolate
makes 2 servings
3 cups chocolate ice cream
1 cup milk
1/4 cup salted chocolate caramel sauce
1 packet salted caramel hot cocoa powder
1/4 cup crushed pretzels
whipped cream, optional

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.  Pour into glasses and garnish with whipped cream, crushed pretzels, salted caramel sauce and serve immediately.

Also!  I made a slight hair change to ring in the new year.  Say hello to Granny hair, silver hair, gray hair, whatever you wanna call it, I’m loving it!
It’s a color from Wella called Cooling Violet.  I’m feeling so “on trend” right now, it’s crazy!!
Dec 01, 2015

Winter is coming.  In Minnesota, it usually starts a little earlier and lasts a little longer than a “normal” winter.  This year, it has been warm and not-so-snowy, which for a snow lover like myself, I am finding a little disappointing.  I want massive snowstorms every weekend!  I want skiing and snow forts!  I want to go outside, freeze my ass off and then go sit on the couch and warm up with a little hot beverage.  I want Vanilla Brandy Cider!


The warm beverage season keeps my insides toasty and happy.  Yes, yes, there are pumpkin spice lattes, hot chocolates and my yummy Tom & Jerry, but my Vanilla Brandy Cider keeps me smiling all fall long.  And you want to know why?  Because: brandy.


Good enough reason, right?  Brandy pairs with apple cider so perfectly, like peanut butter and jelly, but in the liquid sense.  It just works.  Here is a quick history lesson on brandy if the thought of it doesn’t exactly get your mouth watering.  Brandy, if you don’t know, is grape based and the name is the Dutch word for “burnt wine.”  It can be made from the juice of not only grapes, but apple, blackberry, or any fruit that, when mashed, makes juice.   Basically, if you like wine, you will like this.  And if you don’t like wine, you will still love adding brandy to apple cider.  This concludes your random alcoholic beverage facts for the day.


Back to my go-to fall cocktail.

Yes, it’s as flavorful and tasty as the name suggests. Would you believe it warms your bones when the air gets nippy?  Fact.  That is why I love it and why I buy a couple of gallons (yes, GALLONS) of apple cider from my favorite local apple orchard.  Apple cider keeps its freshness for a few months and if you buy a great cider late in the season, it can last well into winter.  Simmering a vanilla bean into the cider just ups the flavor to an insane level.  The hot cider mixed with the vanilla, plus cinnamon and the brandy is a fiesta for your nose.  The scent is heavenly, followed by the taste which is off-the-charts-fall-goodness.


Have I sold you on the idea yet?  Yes?  Fabulous.  Here is how you make your own Vanilla Brandy Cider.


3 cups apple cider

1 cinnamon stick

1/2 of a vanilla bean, split & scraped

4 oz of brandy


Combine 3 cups of apple cider, cinnamon stick, and vanilla bean in a small saucepan and bring to a low boil.  Simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Strain cider to remove cinnamon and vanilla bean contents.  Fill a mug 3/4 of the way with cider.  Then, add 2 ounces of brandy to mug, stir and enjoy.  Makes enough for 2 servings.  Feel free to double the recipe for a group, but 1 cinnamon stick should suffice for a larger batch.


Now only if the weather would cooperate.  Come on, El Niño, you’re cramping my winter style, my insides haven’t frozen solid yet.  Let’s get below freezing already so I can thaw out my internal organs with warm, boozy drinks.

Oct 28, 2015


I know I say this every Halloween post, but I LOVE HALLOWEEEEEEEEEEEEN!!!!!!!!


I was back in “lifestyle expert” mode yesterday and shared some really fun and creepy Halloween ideas on Twin Cities Live, just in time for you to add some of my suggestions to your big Halloween rager this weekend.  Or, use these recipes as your pre-Trick or Treating meal, to fuel your begging-for-candy-from-the-neighbors adventure.


On the menu was the aforementioned Rats on a Stick, 3D Skull Cakes with buttercream glaze, Alien Punch with gummy eyeballs, and for the drinking crowd, my Spook 75, a twist on the French 75 with gin and creme de violette.  YUM.  Try one or make them all.  (Fun fact: my youngest would not even try the Rats on a Stick.  He thought they were made of rats since they really looked like rats.  Mom win!)


I put a lot of time into developing the recipes and making sure they were delicious, but also easy to whip up.  No fancy skills needed, just a love for creepy Halloween food.  If you watch the video, I also spent many hours crafting up spooky, evil decor.  Mini pumpkins painted with black metallic paint.  A foam Medusa head complete with 20 rubber snakes as hair.  Copper painted bugs sprinkled everywhere.  I found awesome black and white striped pillar candles and paired that with matching napkins, and polka dot plates.  And don’t get me started on the 5 varieties of Halloween paper straws I snagged.  Most of the finds were inexpensive, from the Dollar Store, or the bargain bin areas at Target and Michaels.  I found the Wilton skull cake pan in-store at JoAnn, had a coupon so I got it for 50% off.  Booya!


Here are the recipes I shared:

Rats on a Stick
(makes 8 “rats”)

1 1/2 lbs of ground beef

3 tbs minced garlic

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp pepper

1 tbs parsley

1 tbs basil

4 tbs grated parmesan reggiano cheese

3 slices of bread, torn into very small pieces

1 egg

12 inch skewers
BBQ sauce
spaghetti sauce
dried rosemary
sliced almonds

Combine all ingredients in large bowl well.  The best way to combine is with clean, dry hands.  Make sure everything is fully incorporated.  Once the ingredients are mixed, divide the meat into 8 equal balls.  Roll the balls into ovals and start to pinch out a head/neck.  Try to keep the “body” in a more oval shape.  Bring the “head” to a point for the nose.  Lay out the 8 “rats” in a 13×9 inch pan, making sure they don’t touch each other.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  After the 15 minutes are up, you can add BBQ sauce, spaghetti sauce with a brush.  Bake for another 15 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Add 12 inch skewer for the “tail”.  Use peppercorns for eyes & nose.  Use dried rosemary for whiskers.  Use sliced almonds for ears.  (Make sure that if you want to decorate the rats, do it before cooking.  Once they are cooked, they are not soft enough to add the eyes, nose and ears.)  Serve alone or with a side of spaghetti.

Skull Cakes

(makes 4 completed skull cakes)

Wilton 3D skull pan

any boxed cake batter (follow box directions)

non-stick spray

Buttercream Glaze

1 tbs butter, room temperature

1 tbs cream cheese, room temperature

1 tbs vanilla extract

3 tbs milk

1 cup powdered sugar

Bake skulls according to directions that came with the pan (about 30 minutes at 325 degrees).  Cool 10 minutes and remove from pan.  Cool completely.  Cut domes off of back of cakes and piece together using frosting.  Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, combine butter, cream cheese, vanilla and milk on low speed for 1 minute in a large bowl.  Add powdered sugar to bowl, starting the mixer on low then, moving up to high once the sugar has combined.  Glaze should be thin.  If it’s too thick, add a few drops of milk.  If it’s too thin, add a small amount of powdered sugar.  Add glaze to a zipper sandwich baggie, cut off 1 corner and use baggie as frosting bag.  Glaze skulls.

Spook 75

(makes 2 cocktails)

2 oz gin
1.5 oz creme de violette
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
champagne/sparkling wine
black sugar, for rim

Rim 2 glasses with black sugar.  Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.  Add gin, creme de violette, and lemon juice to shaker.  Shake and strain in 2 glasses.  Top off glasses with champagne/sparkling wine.

Alien Punch
Lime Sherbet
Grapefruit soda/similar to Squirt
Optional: gummy eyeballs
For single glasses, add a few scoops of lime sherbet to a glass and fill with soda.  For a large group, add 12-15 scoops of lime sherbet to a punch bowl and fill with soda.  Add gummy eyeballs to glasses or punch bowl to make your punch a little spookier!  I found these in the holiday baking section, they were marketed as a cupcake decoration.

Oct 26, 2015

You know how I made a bunch of tasty LaCroix cocktail videos a few months ago?


They were short, funny and chock full of delicious cocktail goodness??  Well, LaCroix saw them and recently asked me to come up with a Halloween-themed mocktail for them.


Now, now, don’t get scared off by the term “mocktail”.

Not everyone loves the booze as much as you and I.  And my kids ask to try my new creations all of the time and I either have to say no, or make a mocktail-version for them.  (And if you want my secret alcohol recommendation for this little number, I would go with a really good vodka.  Shhhhhhhh.)


What really makes this video the best video I have ever created is the gorilla suit.  Cuz it’s Halloween, yo.  I couldn’t do a Halloween video without going for some sort of costume.  And, I may have gotten a little carried away with the fog machine.  But you will have to watch it to see what I am talking about.  On to the Black Magic Mixer video featuring Lemon LaCroix!!!  Kid-friendly!  Yummy!




Black Magic Mixer:

1/2 oz vanilla simple syrup

2 oz pineapple juice

10 blackberries

black sugar (optional)

Lemon LaCroix


Add vanilla simple syrup and 10 blackberries to a cocktail shaker.  Muddle the berries until they have released all of their juice.  Add the pineapple juice and fill the shaker with ice.  Shake.  Rim the top of a glass with black sugar.  Strain the shaker into the glass.  Top off glass with 4-6 oz of Lemon LaCroix.  Stir, enjoy and be filled with the spooky spirit of Halloween.